Fundraising policeman from Essex gets MBE

PC Mark Edwards from Basildon in Essex who has been awarded an MBE for his fundraising efforts. Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

A police officer who has raised almost £500,000 for a charity fighting an aggressive form of children's cancer has been awarded an MBE. PC Mark Edwards, who has been at the Metropolitan Police for 26 years, was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to charity and policing.

He has helped raise between £400,000 and £500,000 for the Joining Against Cancer in Kids (J-A-C-K) charity, which helps children suffering neuroblastoma.

The 45-year-old, who lives in Basildon, Essex, explained that he got involved with the fight against the disease when he learned about a young neuroblastoma sufferer called Jack Brown.

PC Edwards said: "Both Jack's parents are police officers, the same as my wife and I, and we have a son called Jack who is a similar age. Seven years ago I went over to New York to run the marathon there and help raise money for Jack's appeal. Jack sadly died two years ago but now I take about 90 officers over to New York every year.

"We run a half marathon in Central Park dressed in our uniform and then compete against other police forces in a plane pull challenge at the airport, where we tie a rope to a plane and pull it for 100 feet. It is just a way for officers to get sponsorship to help pay for children's treatment and fund research into finding a cure for neuroblastoma."

"I have no idea who put me forward for this honour, it came as quite a surprise, but I feel humbled and privileged to receive it."

– PC Mark Edwards MBE

The officer, who is currently working as part of the police team accompanying the Olympic Torch relay around the UK, described the charity's work as a "proper team effort".